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Theatre Talk: Redwood' stars Idina Menzel

The world premiere of "Redwood" just opened at La Jolla Playhouse last weekend. All the fuss for this new work has to do with its main character, Jesse, played by Broadway legend Idina Menzel.

Menzel is making her La Jolla debut in this "transportive new musical experience about one woman's journey into the precious and precarious world of the redwood forest."

"Idina plays Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother and wife. She seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives.... Thousands of miles later, she hits the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever. With its deeply personal story, refreshingly contemporary sound, and awe-inspiring design, Redwood explores the lengths – and heights – one travels to find strength, resilience and healing."

In this two-hour, one-act play, it is the projectionist who steals the day. Visually immersed in the Redwood forests of Northern California, the audience is embraced by their steadfast grace.

However, one wonders why, when discussing grief, it is necessary to touch on every conceivable topic of correctness? The good ole days when a husband and wife would grieve the loss of a child have disappeared, instead the fashion is to be so inclusive that the grieving couple could not just be lesbian but also multi-racial?

The best song of the show is "Still" and guarantees to bring a tear. Tickets are limited because, clearly, the draw is the pint-sized Ms. Menzel – not the show. The La Jolla Playhouse is at 2910 La Jolla Village Dr., 858-550-1010, Unrated.

March is discount theatre month across San Diego County (with the exception of "Redwood"). Theatre goers can save by purchasing all show tickets directly from Arts Tix Ticket Center. The website is Tickets as low as $15 per while even Broadway San Diego is listing tickets for "Aladdin" at a big discount at only $45 each when the show arrives in April.

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected].


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